With the first two months of 2017 behind us, we know that the rest of the year is bound to bring about a lot more technological changes.

These changes are going to impact the way SEO is utilized and implemented in your business. In a digitally driven world, SEO is becoming more important for search engines like Google to expand their offerings to promote businesses.

From voice search to rankings factors, SEO is pulling out all the stops and is becoming more relevant than ever. Here are five trends to keep an eye out for this year:

  1. The Rise of Voice Search

Amazon’s Alexa, Google, and Siri have thrived off voice search, allowing users to conduct hands-free searches.

As these companies become more adept at handling complex searches, they are gathering more data, in turn quickly providing accurate answers. Google and Amazon want to start collaborating with businesses to answer these complex questions. The idea is for users to directly submit information to these businesses.

For example, if you wanted to know if Best Buy carried a specific pair of Bose headphones, Google or Siri will soon be able to answer that question based on data provided from Best Buy in terms of their inventory and availability.

Voice search is a win-win because it allows Google to gather and submit more data to businesses, and the searcher to access more information about the business straight from the source.

  1. A Shakeup in SEO Ranking Factors

A shakeup in ranking factors could possibly devalue traditional factors such as content, backlinks, and mobile-first user experience around listing consistencies from third parties.

Google doesn’t want to force small business owners into maintaining relationships and using services provided by third-party aggregators to control their rankings fate.

Rankings could shift to focus on aspects such as delivery techniques, creative ability, transparent costs and access to technology. The more a business focuses on these, the higher in the ranks they climb.

An example of this is if your business uses an interactive video to promote its products as opposed to a blog post. The creativity and delivery of product promotion will rank your business higher on Google.

  1. Specific Details About Local Businesses Revealed

Google will begin to provide incredibly specific details about local businesses. Local businesses will obtain more details from customers for unbiased feedback about that business.

By doing this, searchers will have a better user experience. We’ve already seen this with Google’s “Popular Times,” which shows the times a business is the busiest, and the “Live” feature, showing surrounding traffic conditions.

Data such as a business’ noise level, coziness and bathroom cleanliness will soon be available to anyone who wants to know. These factors better inform customers, especially if it is the first time they are going to that business.

Providing as much information about your business as possible from unbiased feedback will allow your business to be transparent with its customers and foster a relationship before they even come in.

  1. SEO and Business Strategy Become One

SEO performance will become inseparable from the overall business strategy; it will no longer be a separate channel for implementation.

Areas of a business that have been previously overlooked such as customer service, competitiveness, price points, and service offerings will now have a greater impact on SEO when searchers are comparing businesses.

Content will grow to include more interactive assets such as videos and graphics, which will capture the interest of users. Successful SEO campaigns will be ones that mix brand awareness, creativity, and innovative marketing to give users a high-quality, personalized experience.

As a business, you want to utilize the creativity of your team to produce engaging assets. Look beyond the traditional blog post and opt for a video. Instead of a wall of text, opt for an infographic. These types of content will help your audience see what your brand is about and let them connect with it in their own way.

  1. Experience Matters with Experiential Marketing

Content has always been king, but this year, it’s the experience that will reign supreme. It’s no longer just about the right content at the right time on the right channel. It now also includes delivering the best experience possible to your customers.

Whether it’s VR or an interactive video, the role of SEO and improved organic performance will rely on the usage of new technologies. With the release of 5G, mobile experience will change the way we interact with brands, share content, shop, and travel.

By utilizing technologies such as VR, your business will be able to connect physical assets with online experience to create endless possibilities. Take the Samsung Gear VR for example – goggles that connect to Samsung devices to provide an immersive virtual experience. Customers can learn about your products in a more hands-on way than just reading about it.

SEO is changing from what it used to be, and if your small business isn’t quick to adapt, it will be left behind. Your business needs to focus on where SEO is headed to create assets that stand out and utilize today’s technology to create an impactful statement with your brand – engaging current customers and bringing in new ones.